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Thread: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

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    Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    It seems there's perhaps been a bit of a perceived bubble forming in the minds of commercial dealers in the 500E/E500 market in recent months, that is perhaps starting to spill over into the minds of private sellers as well.

    [Asking] prices of cars in the US market are starting to solidly hit the $50-60K mark, and cars are even being sold in this range. Private sellers are starting to price their cars at $40K and above -- levels that are becoming double the prices that many of us who have been monitoring the market for the past 10-15 years have seen these cars fetch.

    Once upon a time, we were seeing Hatch and Sons asking $25-40K for very cars -- and not getting full price for them. More recently, we've seen the MB Classic Center asking much higher prices, and this is now being mimicked by other dealers as well.

    This seems to have been a phenomenon that has developed over the past two years.

    The interesting thing is that other well-known, enthusiast-owned cars offered here have struggled to reach even moderate prices, resulting in very good deals for their buyers. Recent sales such as the Shatner car at auction, and the Orazio and G-Man cars (or even the Dr.No car), have resulted in very well-bought cars that will likely benefit their buyers if they hang onto the cars and continue to maintain and improve them.

    I know that recent price guides available online and from market trackers like "Sports Car Market" magazine's price guide have indicated dramatic appreciation of the .036 over the past couple or three years.

    It all seems like a dichotomy to me -- very nice and known cars struggling to hit their very reasonable asking prices, while "high end" dealers and flippers are asking -- and very occasionally getting -- "all the money" for their cars.

    It's a very interesting situation out there right now. Overall interest in the cars seems to definitely be on the rise, and the continued and accelerating growth of this site underpins this. In my opinion, folks are realizing that these cars are of a limited nature and their numbers are declining, and awareness of the .036 and its heritage has grown. And folks know that these cars are honest-to-goodness GOOD cars to own, drive and enjoy. A practical, youngtimer classic.

    I think people are recognizing that earlier cars like the 300SEL 6.3 are out of their price range and are a bit too exotic, so perhaps they are looking for that "next" 6.3 to invest in.

    I also know that the nicer cars (condition 2-/3+ and better) are definitely starting to appreciate.

    What are peoples' thoughts on the current state of the market right now? Are these $40K and higher prices just fantasy? Are these mid-$20K prices that are 25-40% too high also just fantasy? Why haven't some of our enthusiast-owned cars sold immediately?

    ???

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Are these $40K and higher prices just fantasy?
    For the recent two by PCM, I think they are mostly fantasy. Prices north of $40k in the current market should come along with near-showroom condition and odometer readings at least lower than the asking price!


    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Are these mid-$20K prices that are 25-40% too high also just fantasy?
    The recent cars in the mid/low 20's are at least more reasonable, and could over time lead to a sale in the teens, or even 20's if the seller is willing to wait long enough for the market to come up to their asking price. The usual variations apply due to condition, records, and the of-utmost-importance odometer reading. (end sarcasm)


    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Why haven't some of our enthusiast-owned cars sold immediately?
    Now THAT is a good question which I still haven't been able to figure out. Orazio's and G-man's cars did both sell fairly quickly, but I thought they would go even faster. Weird.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Personally, I could see a low mileage, nearly perfect .036 selling for up to $40,000. Anything higher is ridiculous at this time because there are still plenty of (relatively speaking) decent examples available. As more time goes by and fewer nice cars remain, prices will go up but I do think we are seeing a bubble at the moment, which I suppose is good if one is selling. My feeling is that the bubble will burst or at least deflate within a year and prices will return to what we have been seeing over the last several years.

    As to why some enthusiast cars haven't commanded higher prices or sold quickly is simply due to timing and marketing deficiencies.
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    As the prices climb the clientele goes down but the amount of money they are willing to pay for a fine example goes up. There are probably 20 over 100k mile cars available at any given day but there are very few sub 100k cars available.

    When I was at Legends I had the opportunity to ask Keith Martin what he personally felt about the 500E market and his response was that most of the cars on the market were thrashed. The nice low mile cars would continue to appreciate, but educated buyers know they are expensive to own and to restore.

    I think these cars, at least the low mile well maintained cars, are going to continue to rise and peak out in the mid sixties if the economy ever comes out of it's current doldrums. If the economy takes off these cars could reach their MSRP. Under the current administration I don't see good things ahead.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Well, USA is/was the cheapest market of E500E probably second place is Japan.
    However, folks now realized how good 036 is, so prices at Japan auctions are not like it was couple of years ago.

    Other than these two countries decent E500E costs impressive amount of money ($25 000 - $70 000/ fair - perfect). So there must be a time/period when US market of 036 will rise . Probably this is the time ....

    But still fair condition cars with 140+ miles and at least $10K maintanace should not cost $23K in the US at this time.
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    My personal theory is that there are two primary forces at play helping to create this "bubble" (and if is a bubble, which BTW, you always want to be in the front of and not at the rear of, for example, see pre- and post-2008 housing market). Factor number one I will call the "recognition factor". People are at least vaguely aware of the existence, quality and uniqueness of these cars, plus there is a finite number which is getting smaller and smaller everyday. Also, the number of "unthrashed" and properly cared for cars is decreasing. However, this fact alone doesn't account for the recent asking prices we've all been seeing. The second factor has two parts.

    Part (A): there are alot of people out there that really don't know anything about the E500E other than (1) what someone might have told them in a passing conversation or (2) all they really know about the E500E is what they read in the infamous Wiki entry that everyone quotes in their "for sale" ads. Also, it seems to me today that most buyers are ignorant and lazy. They don't want to bother learning more about these cars, the good and the bad, and let's face it, the potential bad is what this group really understands which is why when we see an otherwise "great" car, the majority of the discussion is always focused on what "is" or "could" be wrong with it or what might be needed in the future, which of course, lowers the overall value in our eyes. Most folks simply "see" the nice paint on top, not the "rust" underneath, for the knowledgeable buyer, its the opposite.

    Part (B) is that there is just a lot of "stupid" money floating around. Thus, we inevitably will see cars change hands for amazing prices (BTW, I think this is the kind of person the dealers like Hatch etc, are waiting for). I know that many board numbers have lots of money to spend, but almost by definition, if you're a member of this board, you're an "educated consumer" (Sy Syms anyone?) and you likely would never spend the kinds of amounts being asked for (even though you could if you wanted to) because that would offend your sense of value, not because you couldn't afford to. To me the RennTech 6sp manual car is a perfect example of that. Many here could afford to buy that car, many have lusted after a manual trans E500E or some other rare feature it has, but absolutely no one was going to pay what was being asked for the car. (Though many of us would pay to "build" a car with lusted over features, but that's another discussion). Just imagining where the market would be today if the 2008 recession hadn't hit is mind boggling.

    Anyway, that's my .$02 and rant for today, so we now return you to your regular programming. . . .
    Last edited by vatc5637; 09-08-2014 at 03:16 PM. Reason: grammar & typos

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Good commentary. I agree with most of it.

    There is a lot of stupid money out there and money that's waiting to be spent on toys. For as many folks out there who are living paycheck to paycheck, there has also been a small subsegment of the population who has done extremely well and has plenty of money to burn on whim-toys that catch their fancy.

    I personally have never ever considered buying a car for it's investment/future appreciation potential, but always rather whether it was a good car (well engineered, well made, etc.), fun to drive and own, and its overall support community and level of expertise. I know this is different from some folks and their rationale.

    At the same time, I have always looked for cars that are not radically depreciating, either. This allows you to basically minimize the ownership costs and drive the car for the cost of fuel, insurance and maintenance/repair.

    When I bought my E500 11 years ago, it moderately depreciated afterward, but I bought close enough to the bottom of the curve that it was perhaps a few thousand dollars. It's highly likely that the customisations that I've done to my car (the staggered AMG Mono II wheels, Nitrous-oxide system being one, BergWerks FGS, 140 toolkit, pending Becker TrafficPro install, ValentineOne hardware, ASR OFF switch, etc.) would not make it attractive to most if not all other buyers than myself. Which is fine, because I knew this going into ownership, and knowing that I would keep the car for a very long time.

    Also, two other factors: my mileage is up to 128K (from 67K when I bought it) so this would automatically rule it out from any collector's interest; and unlike the rest of your cars, my car has around $30,000 in deferred maintenance that needs to be taken care of, including around $12,500 in paint, $15,000 in mechanical maintenance, and probably $2,500 in an eventual transmission rebuild. Unlike most folks, I freely admit my car has LOTS of deferred maintenance because I am building in the stuff that I don't even know about yet (you know, the whole "don't know what you don't know" factor?).

    For me E500 ownership is not an investment, but rather a car that gives me pleasure to own, drive and maintain over the long term. And one that will not, at least, cost me in depreciation but only fuel and parts.

    So while I like to watch the market and watch prices, I don't do it with an eye to unloading my car. If someone actually DID want to buy my car, it would take well over $60K to pry it out of my hands. Yes, EVERYONE has a price, and north of $60K would be mine. Not because I think my car is worth that, but my time in finding another decent E500 (plus figuring out what other cars to buy with the money) would be worth that.

    Spending money truly well is not an easy thing.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Gerry, I agree with you that buying a car for it's investment is like chasing your tail. I also would not buy a car that was on the rapid decline excepting my wife's daily driver. In that case I want her to have something safe and dependable.

    I initially bought into the 500E because I wanted something that I felt would not decline and hold its value. Now, after owning them I own for the joy of ownership. To me they are visually striking and fun to drive.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Last August I sold that '93 from Chicago with only 15k miles for $44k on Ebay. If I had that car today, and I wish I did, it would be a $50k plus car in today's market. It was a pristine example.

    i am still in contact with the buyer. He has only driven the car 1,000 miles in the past year.
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    If I was going to sell my car today I would ask $35k because I do not think I could replace it for less than that.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Well, I have been around these markets longer than most (!) of you.
    Let me relate my experience with the 113 market that I have been involved in for over 30 years.
    I bought my first one in 1982 for $12K. Market value at the time but I was sure it would increase "soon"…
    "Soon" took 20+ years, but when it did you saw prices all over the board. I bought my second one 10 years age for $13K but it wasn't long before you really had to hunt for anything decent for under $20K. Now, decent is 50K+. Bear in mind this is a model with a total production of 50K and a US market of about half of that.
    The E500E numbers are 10K total and 1500 in the US! That is a VERY small number when you talk production vehicles. 1963 split window Corvette coupes with fuel injection number over 3,000!
    Now, Nostradamus I am not but with the extremely small production/import numbers and the Porsche connection (the ONLY time between those two companies), it does not surprise me to see what may be happening now. When markets move, there are always great variances in price occurring.
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    The problem is, that the E500E is a sedan, not a roadster or convertible or even a coupe. Those models with two doors are ALWAYS more collectible than a sedan.

    The most analogous car to the E500E would be the 300SEL 6.3, which was another one-off, high-performance MB sedan. These models were all over the board in price over the years, but it took about 35 years for these to really start arcing up in value. There were 1,839 6.3s imported into the US out of 6,526 produced in total.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Please forgive me if you've "heard" me say all this before, but I will keep it short (most of it we know):
    (1) Rarity -- 1500ish made it to the US?!?! Please. Everyone wants something no one else can have. Human nature;
    (2) Provenance -- MB and Porsche teamed up to do something?!?! And it's a museum showpiece for BOTH companies?!?!?
    (3) Most Buyers Aren't as Knowledgeable as Those Here -- the "stupid" money isn't all that stupid. It's just money, where Knowledge and Wisdom reside here.
    (4) Mileage -- I think most people are looking at what they can get "out of the car" for, as hard as they are looking at what they are getting "into the car" for. This means counting miles.
    (5) Care and Maintenance -- Great cars have great components which makes them expensive to maintain. Trying to find one where that burden has been carried its whole tenure is tough because not everyone who can afford to buy it can afford to maintain it. And no new buyer wants to be playing "catch up" from the last seller.

    This cycle repeats itself, so that (5) begins to drive (1), and upward goes the value of cars that meet all 5 criteria. And so, I don't think this is a bubble at all -- I think it's just natural appreciation.

    What I don't appreciate is the circular, capitalist nature of it all, where a small group of "insiders" seems to be pushing the price even higher than the organic economics of scarcity and excellence would otherwise. See the attached. Now, Hagerty has all the incentive in the world here -- it wants to sell higher priced insurance, more subscriptions, etc., and is supported by the same "flippers" and "collector quality" car auctioneers who want larger commissions. It creates a "froth" on top of what would otherwise just be appreciation. By this, mine is a $35k car, maybe more, which is irrelevant because I'm not selling it for that. But it just feels kinda low-brow. If I believed my own press clippings, I'd be breaking my arm patting myself on the back for "timing the market." But gimme a break already -- some of this is "irrational exuberance."

    But I don't think it's a bubble. Cars that meet all 5 criteria are rare today and will be rarer tomorrow, recessions notwithstanding.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    The problem is, that the E500E is a sedan, not a roadster or convertible or even a coupe. Those models with two doors are ALWAYS more collectible than a sedan.

    The most analogous car to the E500E would be the 300SEL 6.3, which was another one-off, high-performance MB sedan. These models were all over the board in price over the years, but it took about 35 years for these to really start arcing up in value. There were 1,839 6.3s imported into the US out of 6,526 produced in total.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
    See attached to back up what GVZ says about the 6.3. I think these things notch up at 25, 30 and 35 years respectively. After that, anything can happen, particularly where rarity is concerned. I also think the high sales price these days is the new way to say "serious inquiries only."

    maw
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    Last edited by maw1124; 09-08-2014 at 07:28 PM.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    similar thing happened to BMW e30 M3, 3 years ago you could've bought excellent condition 80k mile car for $15k, now same car is close to $40k and rising in price. I used to buy rollers (no engine or interior) for $4-$5k now same rollers are $15k etc.. The 500e is from the same era, it appeals to the same crowd of german car lovers who appreciate rare, special, individual, low production number cars that were famous back in the days but could still provide decent amount of fun when driven enthusiastically.
    I had 2 500e that I bought 2-3 yers ago for under $5k with the intention of building a station wagon, I sold both cars and doubled the money on each without even trying.
    These cars are still relatively affordable where you don't have to get the second mortgage to feel special by owning one.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Based on what maw1124 posted from Hagerty (I'm sure outer guides would show the same) there looks to be a small time frame when cars take a big jump, now may be that start of that for our 036 cars.

    Looks like I better raise my insurance.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Prices are going to go up.
    Production numbers are fairly low. It was the fastest sedan of it's time. It's a Mercedes Benz.
    Hold on to your high mile 500es, even high mileage 500e's in fair condition are going to be worth 12-$15K within the next 7-10 years.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    I hope y'all are right... but I'm afraid Gerry is on to something with the 036 having twice the number of acceptable doors for serious appreciation.


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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    The E30 M3 is a prime example. I think the E46 M3 will be next, once most are thrashed and crashed, modded to death. And note that those aren't even rare. But they offer that "special" "performance collector" appeal without the second mortgage (and thus to a larger audience) = higher prices.

    I also think that every now and then, these car companies just "get it right" -- often by mistake. If it wasn't for BMWs M5 back in the day, we wouldn't have these 500Es. Aufrecht and Melcher did in Grosspach what Mercedes would NOT do, so we have the "racing SClasses" -- 6.3, 6.9, S55, etc. from AMG. Who ever heard of a performance luxury saloon?!?! As Gerry points out, the words didn't really go together when the 6.3 came out, and your typical collector today is from that era where it's gotta be a coupe or convertible.

    Car companies don't like limited production models that appeal to a tiny market, by business definition they want stuff sold to the masses and purchased again 5 years later. So when they break that mold, we (that would be most of us here) pay attention. In a sense, we are the bubble. And that's the way it should be as fas as I'm concerned.

    Cheers, Gents.

    maw

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    I hope y'all are right... but I'm afraid Gerry is on to something with the 036 having twice the number of acceptable doors for serious appreciation.

    +1. And the E500E just looks like a regular sedan to 99% of people. They won't notice the fared fenders and other cosmetic changes because Mercedes designed them to be tasteful. Subtle doesn't sell. If people are going to pay really big money for a car, they will want it to be something that the average joe will know is an expensive, collector's car. In my hunt for a car, I've shown people pictures of cars and the vast majority just scratch there heads and ask "that's the car you are so excited about?". Add to this the fact that it's automatic only and that removes many of the performance car collectors out there. Don't get me wrong, I think these cars will always have solid resale values. I just don't see them following in the footsteps of the E30 M3.

    Or maybe this is just what I want to believe now while I'm looking for a car and once I get one I will add another post to this thread proclaiming that E500Es are set to double in price.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    This has been an interesting discussion. If you look at the macroeconomic climate, the stock market is in a bubble. And in general I think the collector car market (and our cars as well) are following that macroeconomic pattern.

    I honestly don't know how much longer this economy is sustainable given the true economic indicators and statistics. There is A LOT of money out there, but the vast majority of it seems to be controlled by a relatively very few people.

    I guess I'm just trying to determine if the rise in prices for E500Es over the past 2-2.5 years has been because of a bubble or honest appreciation based on "real" collector recognition and interest on the model. I think maw is correct - things notch up every few years and then plateau for a while.

    If I follow the pattern of the 300SEL 6.3 (because it's what I know well, and also probably the most directly analogous situation to the E500E) I think the values of the cars is going to plateau for a few more years, the notch up again. And yet there will be anomalies (both high and low prices), with the very nicest cars continuing to get ever higher prices for those money-no-object folks who want "wirgin" cars that are rarely driven.

    One thing is for sure though ... barring a major economic recession/meltdown, I don't think the current prices for Condition 3+/2- and better cars is going to go down from current levels. By Condition 3+/2- I mean a "driver" car that can fairly reasonably be restored and brought to Condition 2 level (basically paint/cosmetics and mechanicals).

    Like the 6.3, the E500E is never going to command "hockey stick" exponential bucks like the 111/112 cabrios and the coupes (particularly the 3.5 models), and the Pagodas do. They will appreciate over time, but much more modestly than coupe/vert models because of the visual appeal/number of doors. If you look carefully, 107s are starting to go up in price because Pagodas are starting to get out of reach for many people, and I've started seeing some modest appreciation in the C126 market as well. I think the C126 is going to take another 10 years before it really takes off.

    Right now, I think one of the best bargains out there would be a manny-tranny 2.3-16 in the US, if one could find a clean one. I think that $15K would about do the trick on a very clean one that hasn't been thrashed or riced out. Other than the SEC, it's really about the only other interesting/worthwhile MB model from the 1980s.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Agreed, Honch, on all fronts. But the only constant is change. When the current collector class moves along, the next one will have grown up with performance saloons and paddle shifters. I think the Cosworth market has already gone the way of the E30. I haven't seen a good one for under $20k in a LONG time -- I've been looking. But I really want the 2.5-16...

    I think the same people driving the Dow are those "boomers" who are driving asset prices everywhere. The reason is simple -- young people tend not to be wealthy. If you didn't inherit it, it generally takes time to accumulate it to where you need to make it work for you. Like you, I don't see the value there to support these levels. But I DO see the demand -- the money is flowing into the trading desk from everywhere and everyone's retirement account, it has to be invested or the traders will get fired, and there's nothing really new under the sun. So, pharma, health care, hospitality, sustainable energy, all see high investment multiples. Even "social media" gets takers (to me, there's no "there" there). Cars seems to be a new rage for some of these folks, because they are not quite as expensive to maintain as multiple homes or boats I suppose.

    But I digress, at a high enough level, the macro becomes micro, and we can look past the current trend du jour. Human nature can be really predictable, but every now and then a black swan appears. I think these cars are an example. Who woulda thunk? Nobody, and that's where real value comes from.

    Cheers,

    maw

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    E500E Guru texas993's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Talk about a bubble, look at the air-cooled Porsche phenomenon going on now. I caught the wave on the recent sale of my RUF. And I expect nothing less from my 500E!

    Truthfully, my sense of the market on 500Es was depressing. Seeing G-man's car sit and a few others sell for low prices made me think that mine will be worth what I paid for it or less for a long time. ($17k) But I love it and could never find another car like it for 3X the price.

    Good thing that I have another air-cooled 911 that I bought at a very low cost from a friend (original owner).
    Patrick
    1987 560SL (Current Project Car)
    1995 E300D, 2005 G500
    1997 Porsche 993 C2S, 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
    1993 500E Signal Red / Black SOLD

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    E500E Guru Jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Jebus, I can't believe the Honcho's car needs anywhere near that kind of cash thrown at it...but I have not seen it (yet).

    I absolutely bought my 500E with future appreciation in mind. Not that I parked in the garage to keep the miles low...bought at 90K now at 160K; but I truly feel there will be a time in the future (20-30 years?) when even the thrashed ones will be sought after for serious coin. Imagine what a low mile E500E (sub-100K mile) will be worth (to the collector crowd) in say 2035.

    I really like reading others owners perspectives on this !! VERY differing attitudes. Good thread G.
    1992 500E - Spruce Green(249) Cream-biege (275)
    2007 CLK63
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Jebus, I can't believe the Honcho's car needs anywhere near that kind of cash thrown at it...but I have not seen it (yet).
    It's true ... the $30K figure is a "paid forward" figure.

    Different mentality I know than most folks have. I know lots of folks like to think their #3 cars are concours quality. I just take a little more realistic approach is all.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    For Gerry, a car with much deferred maintenance is a GOOD thing. It gives him something to do with Charlie-the-parts-stealing-cat. I don't agree with his assessment of his car. It is fabulous and I have driven it a couple of times - last week in fact!

    Gerry, don't even tell me how much deferred maintenance my car has. Don't want to hear it....
    Patrick
    1987 560SL (Current Project Car)
    1995 E300D, 2005 G500
    1997 Porsche 993 C2S, 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
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    E500E Guru maw1124's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Right. Same here, Jimbo. Mine is low miles and likely to stay that way just because.

    But you have a fleet of rarities over there -- I also drive an allroad 4.2 with almost 170k on the clock. I'll never sell it for what I paid, but I've gotten my money's worth a couple times over and it drives better now than when I got it 7 years and 130k miles ago. I think about an '03 RS6, but I wouldn't want to beat that around in the Michigan winter like I do this. And much of that car is in the Allroad, sans forced induction. For some reason, no bubbles have formed around the Audis of which I'm aware anyway -- except maybe the RS6, Allroad 4.2 and S4. I think that's because "collectors" today still remember the trouble Audi had in the late 80s and early 90s, and because now forced induction is all the rage. Few will remember that it has more to do with the EPA and cafe regulations than anything else.

    Oh well. Interesting life. We are blessed to be able to participate.

    Cheers,

    maw

  30. #28
    Senior Member txbrit's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    My $.02 - for what little or nothing its worth....

    I think the MBCC car, and to a lesser extent the one in Syosset NY- has set off a chain reaction - but as has been mentioned, it’s likely the $40-50K prices these sold for are to people for whom that is pocket change. Why did other cars take so long to sell for much less? I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest modifications, even cosmetic, in spite of being as good as, maybe even better condition that these" Low Mileage wonders".

    Myself? I bought my 036 to drive and enjoy, if I could only be home long enough! Like most on this board - and I would think any car guy whatever your preferred 'brew' - it was a car I aspired to - actually I wanted almost any W124, so it was fantastic to get what is almost the ultimate expression of the breed. If it appreciates then great, if not then at least I will probably lose a lot less money that some of the other cars that were on my 'shopping list' at the time.

    BUT... I don't see values - even of the very best - appreciating into the Stratosphere - and to be honest not because of the fact it’s a 4 door - IMHO it’s because like its older siblings - it does TOO good a job of being a Q-Car, to the uninitiated it doesn't look anything special.

    M3's have appreciated because they do look just that little bit more different/sporty/call it what you will - than the rest of the E30/46's. I think that’s also why 2.3/2.5-16s have started to shoot up.

    At more than one C&C I have had a Porsche Owner come up to me and tell me how "these are still all over Europe” – I mention the connection, that this isn’t just any MB - and they look at me like I am smoking something
    Connecting via two tin cans and a piece of string
    Currently in the Garage....

    92 500E
    08 GL450 - RIP - shopping replacement
    96 Bentley Continental R

  31. #29

    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Prices are going to go up considerably on the models below within the next 10 years.
    190e 16V, especially witih 5 speed dogleg
    560sec
    560 sec convertible
    300ce/e320 coupe
    300ce/e320 cabrios
    500e/e500, especially low mileage and rare color combos.
    C36 AMG

    hold on to these cars, any condition - other that rust buckets.
    California cars will be sought after . . . .

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by txbrit View Post
    At more than one C&C I have had a Porsche Owner come up to me and tell me how "these are still all over Europe” – I mention the connection, that this isn’t just any MB - and they look at me like I am smoking something
    Yep ... my experience 90% of the time as well.

    Hence my comments & viewpoint about .036ers putting Porsche verbiage/badging on their q-cars. 99% of the population jus' don' get it. Sort of like the whole "589" thing here

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    Senior Member Hollybrook's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Interesting comments about the Porsche connection. I bought my 500E from a lifetime Porsche enthusiast and racer. It was his wife's daily driver and he certainly valued the connection, though I could still tell that it was not a true Porsche to him.

    Once thing that has been alluded to but not really emphasized in this discussion is that for all of us E500E enthusiasts who regularly drive our cars is the balance between having a classic car and the utility of having a 4-door. Of the interesting cars I have previously owned, some of the highest performance and most fun have been 4-door models. Sure, there is lots to like about a 2-door, but for a car that I am going to drive often, I prefer more functionality. I think previous to the 500E, one of my favorite cars to own was a 1980 528i with modified suspension and aftermarket seats. Very similar to the 500E, but lighter and with much less power -- a real back roads brawler that was still comfortable on extended trips on the highway.
    1992 500E 702/275

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    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - blowing bubbles?

    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - blowing bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by DerFuror View Post
    And I don't think it's that far off the mark.

    E500E cars that were "top of the mark" $30-35K back then, are $55-60K cars now.

    I'm seeing Pagodas hitting the $100K mark.

    R107s that were approaching $20K back then, are pushing $30K now.

    Nicer 6.3s are getting on to $100K.

    2.3-16s that were barely topping $10K then, are more than double that now.

    Even near-pristine 560SECs that were scrabbling to hit $20-25K are getting to the $35-40K mark & higher now.

    The car that NOW is exactly the time go for ....would be the R129 SLs (later years of the M119 and the M113 models). The 129s are now starting to get close to the bottom of the depreciation curve, where they will stay for a few years before starting to appreciate. And the 129 being a convertible, will do well in the long term if hung onto.

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Yep ... my experience 90% of the time as well.

    Hence my comments & viewpoint about .036ers putting Porsche verbiage/badging on their q-cars. 99% of the population jus' don' get it. Sort of like the whole "589" thing here
    I know one Porsche guy that got it: Alois Ruf had/has a 500E.
    Patrick
    1987 560SL (Current Project Car)
    1995 E300D, 2005 G500
    1997 Porsche 993 C2S, 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
    1993 500E Signal Red / Black SOLD

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by texas993 View Post
    Alois Ruf had/has a 500E.
    Only 48 hours and you're already missing your Texas993?

    And by the way, let me know what you want your name/handle changed to, Patrick.

    texas911?
    texas500E?
    texas036?

  38. #36
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    texascaradd

    or

    texastoomanycars

    Not missing it yet. Wallet feels fat. But I am continually getting abused by my 993 friends. And I am lining up the mild resto of my '85 911.
    Patrick
    1987 560SL (Current Project Car)
    1995 E300D, 2005 G500
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    E500E Guru maw1124's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollybrook View Post
    Interesting comments about the Porsche connection. I bought my 500E from a lifetime Porsche enthusiast and racer. It was his wife's daily driver and he certainly valued the connection, though I could still tell that it was not a true Porsche to him... Once thing that has been alluded to but not really emphasized in this discussion is that for all of us E500E enthusiasts who regularly drive our cars is the balance between having a classic car and the utility of having a 4-door. Of the interesting cars I have previously owned, some of the highest performance and most fun have been 4-door models.
    +1

    I've always been a performance sedan guy. Don't know why, but I think it's because I always want to share the fun with others. Then when I could afford them, I had a family so it just made sense. FL (and my son, more pointedly) mandated a convertible, and for me that meant a 4 seater, hence the E46 M3 'vert. That car takes the miles off of the 500E when it's just me riding.

    My experience too has been that the Porsche folks get this car even more than the Mercedes folks (which is why it took someone else to nudge MB to "performance" and then to AMG). Performance just hasn't typically been MB's thing -- not their brand or following. Pulling up in a Porsche dealer in Naples to look at a car was a real treat -- about 6 guys circling the car wondering who's it was. Benz dealers -- nothing. Of course, the car's only special to the Porsche folks because of the Porsche involvement, and the MB folks don't treat it like a "real" Benz either. I hear stuff like, "what's different about that Benz?", "it seems to sit funny" and "is that the one Porsche built?" like it's a red-headed step-child or something.

    maw

  40. #38
    E500E Guru KarlC's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - blowing bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post

    The car that NOW is exactly the time go for ....would be the R129 SLs (later years of the M119 and the M113 models). The 129s are now starting to get close to the bottom of the depreciation curve, where they will stay for a few years before starting to appreciate. And the 129 being a convertible, will do well in the long term if hung onto.
    The V12 R129 seem to be the best deal going in the R129 world, of course if you buy the wrong one you will not feel that way latter.

    .
    1993 500E - 040 / 271 - Porsche Type 2758 ~~~~ 1971 250C Ivory / Cognac Leather

    Past Cars - 1994 E500 - 2003 CL600 V12TT by SPEEDRIVEN - 1994 E500 - 1995 E320 Cab - 1988 BMW M6 - 1994 E320 Cab

  41. #39
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
    I've always been a performance sedan guy. Don't know why, but I think it's because I always want to share the fun with others.
    Same here. And I like the Q-ship aspect too. It was able to spank the vast majority of so-called "performance" cars through about the mid-2000's, now it's just the plain majority... unless a 6.0 is under the hood, which moves it back towards "vast majority".


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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Same here. And I like the Q-ship aspect too. It was able to spank the vast majority of so-called "performance" cars through about the mid-2000's, now it's just the plain majority... unless a 6.0 is under the hood, which moves it back towards "vast majority".

    When will you be doing your NOS to a 6.0 ?

    That should move you past the vast majority and break all 036 records.
    .
    1993 500E - 040 / 271 - Porsche Type 2758 ~~~~ 1971 250C Ivory / Cognac Leather

    Past Cars - 1994 E500 - 2003 CL600 V12TT by SPEEDRIVEN - 1994 E500 - 1995 E320 Cab - 1988 BMW M6 - 1994 E320 Cab

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    I plan to install NOS on a plain old 5.0L. Been wanting to do that all year, but my day job went nuts and I can't even keep up with things like getting the lawn mowed. Grrrr.

    I am aiming to break Sauceman's sea-level records up here at higher elevation, uncorrected. It remains to be seen if I can pull that off or not! Baseline runs (minus the bottle) have been encouraging. Still need to get the WaveTrac installed (done!), Walbro plumbed (done!), wideband gauge mounted, and then the bottle in the tunk.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
    Click here for my website
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    He'll have to beat my [former] record, as well. Sauceman is barely ahead of me.

    Remember ..... timeslips, or it didn't happen.

  45. #43
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Don't worry, Honcho. I'll be trying to take you down as well!


  46. #44

    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Just take two of the doors off . . .

  47. #45

    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Start your Mercedes collection, no affiliation.
    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...660627357.html

  48. #46

    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/an...627587297.html

    talking about car bubbles . .
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Senior Member 126v8's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?


  50. #48
    E500E Guru mistermiata's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Hard to say without ANY description from the seller, but seems like he's in the ballpark with the mileage and overall condition based on the pictures......maybe a few grand high? Don't forget to factor in Gerry's $5k deferred maintenance....
    Andy
    94 E500
    (128k miles)....sold
    2000 Land Rover Disco (112k miles)
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  51. #49
    E500E Guru Melville's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by 126v8 View Post
    Is this a reflection of what the actual state of the E500E market?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/E500-V-8-Eng...vip=true&rt=nc
    This is good data about the current market. Bids up to $16,600 for a 116,000 mile car sounds about right based on some of the cars for sale here in the last few months that actually sold. And, with the reserve not met, it adds fuel to the fire that the price bubble is in the minds of sellers only.

    I wonder if bids might have gone higher had the seller actually provided information about the car other than the fact it is "THE BEST OF THE BEST" and also provided pictures that actually were in focus and showed the car properly.

  52. #50
    E500E Guru Melville's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Another one to watch, but mostly because of an unrealistic buy it now price.

    https://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6688

    $27,500 BIN. 136K miles. 2 days remaining in the auction. Will bids reach much past half of the BIN price?

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    I just today received the latest "Pocket Price Guide" in the mail from Sports Car Market magazine.

    Looking at this year's guide, it is showing a price range of $25-45K for the 500E, with a "C" investment interest rating, and a "four star" rating (which indicates it will outperform the market in price growth). They are predicting 9% appreciation for the 500E in 2015.

    For the E500, it is showing a $37,500-$65K price range, with same "C" rating and four stars, with an 8% predicted appreciation for 2015.

    Go figure.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  54. #52
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Thanks Gerry. Do you remember what the Pocket Price Guide listed the E500E for last year? I didn't see it posted in this thread. Generally speaking, it seems to be appreciating. And that 8-9% range is seemingly accurate.
    Patrick
    1987 560SL (Current Project Car)
    1995 E300D, 2005 G500
    1997 Porsche 993 C2S, 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
    1993 500E Signal Red / Black SOLD

  55. #53
    E500E Guru mistermiata's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Still not keeping up with the increase in parts prices for the car LOL.....
    Andy
    94 E500
    (128k miles)....sold
    2000 Land Rover Disco (112k miles)
    95 Mazda Miata (104k miles)
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Hi Patrick,

    I do happen to have the 2014 guide. I was just getting ready to throw it away. Here are the figures:

    500E: Range - $22-42K; investment grade "C", four stars; appreciation 7%
    E500: Range - $35-60K; investment grade "C", four stars; appreciation 12%

    I know I had the 2013 and 2014 data on a previous thread on this forum, but I couldn't find it via search.

  57. #55
    E500E Guru TerryA's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Thanks Gerry,

    Its nice to know that someday "MAYBE" I will at least get back some of the money I have sunk into this beauty.

    Yesterday on my 1st drive of the new year I just put 141,000 pretty much trouble free miles on the clock.
    In the 10 plus years I have owned it I have been the beneficiary of great ride no matter what it is worth.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
    Terry

  58. #56
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Those values seem to fly in the face of comments made by Keith Martin at the Legends of the Autobahn last year. I asked him his thoughts on the E500E future values. His response was basically, meh. He said he did not put any collector value on them because they were all high mileage and thrashed. I suspect he just hasn't seen many fine examples.

    I tend to feel they should be in the $22k to $45k value regardless of E500 or 500E, depending on condition and mileage.

    1992 500E
    1994 E500
    2011 E550 4Matic

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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Hi Patrick,

    I do happen to have the 2014 guide. I was just getting ready to throw it away. Here are the figures:

    500E: Range - $22-42K; investment grade "C", four stars; appreciation 7%
    E500: Range - $35-60K; investment grade "C", four stars; appreciation 12%

    I know I had the 2013 and 2014 data on a previous thread on this forum, but I couldn't find it via search.
    I was searching for that thread but could not find it either. I think your predictions a couple years ago are probably about spot on.

    1992 500E
    1994 E500
    2011 E550 4Matic

  61. #58
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    There's a bubble for sure and it's breaking some rules as I would have expected to see a convertible or coupe appreciate before a sedan. Furthermore, judging by the number of high mileage cars changing hands at silly prices, these cars were not considered highly collectible until recently.

    This is not necesseraly a bad thing. Jaguar E Type's, Ferrari Boxers and air cooled Porsche have gone through multiple bubbles so there is proof that what will go up will come down and go back up again. If you have one to sell, this is a good time to do it. I'm looking to buy but not right now because it's a sellers market.
    Last edited by alabbasi; 09-05-2015 at 08:30 AM.

  62. #59
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    I just today received the latest "Pocket Price Guide" in the mail from Sports Car Market magazine.

    Looking at this year's guide, it is showing a price range of $25-45K for the 500E, with a "C" investment interest rating, and a "four star" rating (which indicates it will outperform the market in price growth). They are predicting 9% appreciation for the 500E in 2015.

    For the E500, it is showing a $37,500-$65K price range, with same "C" rating and four stars, with an 8% predicted appreciation for 2015.

    Go figure.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
    I recently received the latest Pocket Price Guide from Sports Car Market magazine.

    For the E500E, here is the data they are providing. A couple of surprises:

    500E:
    - Collector Grade C
    - Median Value: $19,800
    - No change from previous year

    E500:
    - Collector Grade C
    - Median Value: $17,300
    - No change from previous year

    I think this is the first time I've seen this price guide value the 500E higher than the E500. And significantly higher. Interesting.

    Also, this is the first time in a few years that I've seen "no change" in pricing from prior years. I guess SCM is also seeing that the bubble of recent years has popped for our cars, and prices have leveled out and even gone down. I would, in general terms, agree with that. Of course, high-end cars do continue to increase in value, and will continue to pull up the prices of the condition 2 and 3 cars over time.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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  64. #60
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    Re: Thoughts on the current 500E / E500 market - are we in a bubble?

    It's interesting to compare those values to what forum member ZombieBranz found during his recent search/purchase. Taken from another thread:

    My experience with price points is that 10-13k is going to probably be a fairly rough car with a lot of deferred maintenace and maybe some other potential issues like bad paint/bad repaint, accident history, bad body work, rust, etc. But if you want that type of project they are out there!

    Here is the general prices points and differences I saw when I was looking last couple weeks:

    Up to about $15k very rough, several major issues. Not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to have to address the whole car from paint to engine to interior/electronics. No or minimal records. Might be able to trade better condition for accident history. Either rough paint or bad repaint or bad touch ups. Rough interior or wrong parts, rips in seat especially driver side bolster. No recent service history.very high miles and/or very rough shape.

    $15-20k diamonds in the rough, will have lots of miles but can be brought up to a better level with a elbow grease and money. May have decent amount of deffered service but if you do the service the car will be improved. Has mostly original parts but some of those parts may be severely worn. Will mostly likely have to address several major systems to improve the functional level to bring those up to good/great condition.

    $20-25k this is a nice driver. has significant and recent maintenance records, good paint, major systems in working order, nice interior, mostly original, could have tasteful or easily reversible mods. Good solid driver car that looks good and runs good. Owner has kept the car in solid working order. Doesn't need immediate attention but there are probably a list of things that will need addressing sometime in the future. Miles over 150k.

    $25-35k this would be a turn key nice car, an A driver, would win local car shows, all records, great paint, miles around 120k or less. Might have one or two very minimal things to address.

    $35k+ you are talking the best cars, original, show quality, miles well under 100k. All maintenance done, all records/history from new, needs nothing other than some OCD level care to keep it at current level.

    This is just a generalization based on what I came across....I hope you find a car that meets or exceeds you expectations at a great price. You came to the right place. Good luck!
    Greg
    '94 E500
    '03 E320 4Matic Wagon (W210)
    '08 G55

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